Mr. Semko, I was wondering if you have watched the TV show The Americans. It’s about undercover KGB agents posing as Americans during the early 80’s. Being in counter-intel around the same time, I’m sure you at least brushed up against this kind of thing. I was just wondering how accurate you thought the show was, if you had seen it. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it. Great acting and very well made.
RAY SEMKO REPLY:
I do watch “The Americans” and have started watching the new show “Allegiance“, that they started showing on NBC. I have to watch these shows just to see how they are portraying the cold war era.
As far as “The Americans” goes, it is an entertaining show, well acted and very well made, but it’s not as accurate as I would like it to be. If it was accurate it would be very slow moving and there would definitely not be as many dead bodies. Spying is like a long chess game. One of the reasons I chose counterintelligence is that it is considered a “gentleman’s game.” We spy, they spy, everybody spies, so why do we have to kill people over this. The people who ended up being killed were mostly those who defected and were hunted down by their own intelligence.
The KGB definitely would go after their own and then make all of the so-called loyal KGB agents watch as they punished the traitor/defectors that they captured. They used it as motivational tool to keep everybody else in line.
Were there sleeper agents in America back then? Without a doubt. There are sleeper agents now. Remember the ten Russian sleeper agents we exposed in 2010.
Back to the show. The honey trap that is being used on the FBI secretary is done well and the FBI getting involved with the young Russian girl (Nina) in the double agent scenario is good. It shows the volunteers willing to work against us and how, when the Russian sleepers target anyone, they never appear to be a threat until they can find a weakness and take control.
I guess it’s like everything TV/movies do: they take certain liberties and embellish where they can to keep things exciting and interesting. They never let the truth stand in the way of good entertainment.
Another show I would recommend for you to watch is “The Assets” that is currently being shown on NETFLIX. It’s all about the Ames case.
Take care and always have a D*I*C*E day!